Michael Ovitz News and Articles - Your Source for the Latest Information
Friday, April 6, 2012
Bloomberg Game Changers: Magic Johnson
Watch the full Bloomberg Game Changers: Magic Johnson featuring Michael Ovitz, Jerry West, Michael Cooper, David Stern and many more. Great documentary on the L.A. Laker legend and new face of L.A. Dodger ownership.
Over the past forty years, Michael Ovitz has been involved in a wide variety of activities in the worlds of entertainment, advertising, finance, business and philanthropy. He began his entertainment career prior to graduating from UCLA, as a tour guide at Universal Studios. He later started in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency, soon became a highly successful TV agent there before leaving with four colleagues to found CAA.
Ovitz co-founded Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 1975 and served as its Chairman until 1995. Over that 20-year period, he grew the agency from a start-up organization to the world’s leading talent agency, representing more than 1,000 of the most notable actors, directors, musicians, screenwriters and other personalities in the entertainment industry. While at CAA, Mr. Ovitz was known for assembling “package deals”, wherein CAA would utilize its talent base to provide directors, actors and screenwriters to a studio, thus shifting the negotiating leverage from the studios to the talent.
Ovitz expanded the purview of the agency by moving into such activities as corporate consulting, investment banking and advertising. He helped negotiate such transactions as Matsushita’s acquisition of MCA/Universal, the financial rescue of MGM/United Artists, and Sony’s acquisition of Columbia Pictures. He shook up the advertising industry by winning Coca-Cola's global advertising account in 1991. Mr. Ovitz also served as President of the Walt Disney Company, from October 1995 to January 1997.
In January of 1999, he launched a related family of talent management, motion picture and television production companies. Since selling those companies in 2002, he has remained involved in a limited number of film and video game projects, while devoting the bulk of his time to investing in startup technology and media companies, real estate and other ventures.
Ovitz has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for J. Crew Group Inc., Gulfstream Aviation and Opsware. He served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the UCLA Hospital and Medical Center and headed up the Capital Campaign to raise money for their new hospital, designed by I.M. Pei. He also served on the Executive Advisory Board of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Board of Directors of D.A.R.E. America, and the National Board of Advisors for the Children’s Scholarship Fund. He is currently involved in numerous cultural and charitable activities. He currently sits on the boards of both the Museum of Modern Art and the Council on Foreign Relations.